I've opened a comments page on the GOP presidential candidates on Off Times Square. In keeping with the quality of the candidates, the "supporting documentation" is not very serious.
The President's Weekly Address (transcript):
... Reuters story here.
The Daily Kos lists events in more than 200 locations at OccupyWallStreetEvents.com ...
... Brandon Gee of The Tennessean: "The state’s attempts to rein in the Occupy Nashville protests that have called Legislative Plaza home for three weeks may have served only to fan the flames, observers said Friday. If nothing else, the protesters have a new chant to add to their repertoire. 'Remember the Nashville 29' is a reference to the protesters who were arrested at 3:10 a.m. Friday when they refused to vacate the plaza. It was among the rallying cries as the group defiantly marched back toward the Capitol upon their release from the Criminal Justice Center shortly before 9 a.m. Their arrests gained them publicity and new supporters, as well as lawyers promising to file lawsuits on their behalf." ...
... Scott Johnson of the Oakland Tribune: "Sparked by the injury on Tuesday night of 24-year-old Iraq War veteran and ex-Marine Scott Olsen, the Occupy Oakland movement almost overnight became an international symbol of resistance around which millions of people are rallying. The latest sign of Oakland's galvanizing effect came with the arrival of Michael Moore ... on Friday afternoon to the amphitheater of Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, where it all began. In cities across the country, thousands of protesters Thursday night expressed their solidarity with Olsen -- and by extension Oakland -- by chanting and holding signs that said: 'We are all Scott Olsen.'"
... J. P. Masser in Daily Kos: how is it that Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who says she was a civil rights activist in the 1960s, didn't think of the Kent State massacre before she "unleash[ed] the Oakland Police Department on peaceful protesters...? To mobilize hundreds of police in full riot gear armed with tear gas, flash bombs, billy clubs and rubber bullets? CW: good question.
... Zoltan, writing in Daily Kos: "If you were watching the coverage of the attack against Occupy Oakland through the filter of the corporate media, you were told that police had no choice but to use teargas on the protesters, because the protesters were throwing rocks, bottles, and paint at the police.... I looked at a lot videos of the police attack. Nowhere did I see protesters throwing rocks, bottles, or paint.... I want to see video proof before I believe that the Oakland protesters were truly throwing rocks, bottles, and paint." ...
... Drake Bennett of Bloomberg! News profiles David Graeber, an anarchist who was one of the principal organizers of Occupy Wall Street. Graeber is a respected anthropoligist who has some interesting ideas about debt. Thanks to a reader for the link.
For the Well-Prepared OWS Protester. Joshua Brustein of the New York Times: an app "I'm Being Arrested" is a free download, but it may have downsides. Read the article.
N. R. Kleinfield & John Eligon of the New York Times: "A three-year investigation into the police’s habit of fixing traffic and parking tickets in the Bronx ended in the unsealing of indictments on Friday and a stunning display of vitriol by hundreds of off-duty officers, who converged on the courthouse to applaud their accused colleagues and denounce their prosecution.... The outpouring of angry officers at the courthouse had faint echoes of a 1992 march by off-duty officers on City Hall to protest Mayor David N. Dinkins’s call for more independent review of the police. And it raises unsettling questions about the current mind-set of the police force." CW: I lived in Manhattan in 1992, & it was stunning to hear numerous officers calling the mayor, who is black, by a racial epithet.
David Dayen of Firedoglake: "Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has not been traditionally opposed to a deficit reduction plan.... So it’s quite something to see Greenstein, along with Paul van de Water and Richard Kogan, savage the Democratic opening bid in the Catfood Commission II, describing it as to the right of Bowles-Simpson, the Gang of Six and other deficit plans.... CBPP rightly notes that none of this has led to Republicans embracing the plan." The CBPP report is here.
** "The Good Son." Andrew Sprung of Xpostfactoid: "Bush Pere does have an heir ... a good son intent on restoring the 50-year American foreign policy consensus of which GHWB was arguably the apotheosis.... His name is Barack Hussein Obama. As Jay Leno put a bunch of softballs up on a tee for Obama last night, the President, while swatting a few victory drives, made it very clear that he saw himself restoring the old multilateral, America-first-among-equals tradition -- after a period of aberration presided over by Guess Who." You can watch the whole Leno interview of Obama in the October 26 Commentariat.
Monica Potts of the American Prospect: an analysis of President Obama's new student loan reduction initiative shows the program doesn't help much. "... the problems with student-loan debt are deeply entwined with the problems in our economy overall. If student-loan payers have a little bit more to spend every month then the plan is only a disappointingly meager move to make a slight dent in a big problem. If, however, it serves to quiet the students who are, right now, the loudest in demanding reform, then the plan could do real harm."
AND in Your Weekly Friday Night News Dump, Jackie Calmes of the New York Times reports, "The White House directed a well-known businessman on Friday to conduct an independent review of government loans to energy companies, as House Republicans announced they would consider subpoenaing records related to a 2009 loan to a California manufacturer of solar-energy equipment that is now bankrupt. In enlisting , a former executive who helped the Bush and Obama administrations rescue the financial system, the White House indicated some concern that it needed to get out ahead of the Congressional investigation into the loan portfolio of the Department of Energy and, in particular, the half-billion-dollar loan to the California manufacturer, ." See also Friday's Ledes.
Right Wing World
New York Times Editors: "The Republican presidential hopefuls have been saying alarming things about the federal courts.... Whoever is elected president could shape the court for the next generation. That means voters should be alarmed by the fringe ideas they have been hearing from the Republican candidates so far."
Jonathan Cohn of New York Magazine goes a long way toward explaining why conservatives don't like Mitt Romney: "Romney’s campaign treats conservatism as an obstacle to his reelection.... He offers the right the least amount of substantive commitment.... Conservatives ... want to win a philosophically oriented campaign. They want to believe that Americans are voting for their party because they agree with it, not just because the other party was in office during an economic free fall." CW: in other words, they want people to belie-e-e-ve in Ayn Rand.
Akhilleus sent me a link to an assessment by the very funny Amanda Marcotte, whose explanation of Herman Cain's popularity among the GOP base is, in part:
There's always been a strain of conservatives -- the ones who say, 'I'm really more libertarian' -- who missed out on the 60s and so want to reimagine themselves as dangerous rebels who are out to get The Man, except in this case The Man is ordinary working people who are oppressing the beleaguered wealthy class. You don't know downtrodden until The Man, in his greedy grasping for health care and a humble pension, makes you downgrade to a smaller yacht and reduce your summer house options to a mere two or three. Luckily, the downtrodden rich have 'libertarians' out there who imagine they're being radical and subversive by calling for regressive tax structures. These folks are Cain's base. Who else do you think is buying all those stupid Harleys?
Meanwhile, this probing analysis by Jon Stewart, who looks at a range of candidates, cannot be discounted. Here he is on Mitt:
... AND here on Mitt's competition:
Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic: Oh, horrors! The Affordable Care Act has a "marriage penalty," which will encourage people to live in sin. Republicans have found something else not to like about the ACA, too: it reduces income taxes for poor people. Never mind that it reduces taxes in about the same amount as do the Bush tax cuts -- which the GOP thinks is just fine -- it's bad if ObamaCare does it. P.S. The ACA money goes not to the taxpayer but to the insurance industry -- you'd think Republicans would love that. That's the rule. CW: this analysis is sort of in the weeds, but these arguments will probably one day come to a 30-second spot on your teevee, so it's nice to know they're the usual baloney -- and especially tasty baloney because the vast majority of people will not know WTF the ad is talking about -- just that ObamaCare is bad for you. Somehow.
Wow! Montana Republican Denny Rehberg is looking out for seniors all over the world! (and on your dime) --
Why I Don't Live in Texas. KVUE-TV Austin, Texas: "A radio ad for a concealed handgun class at Keller's Riverside Store in Mason, located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, is causing controversy. 'We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your C.H.L.,' the ad stated.... 'If you are a socialist liberal and or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as under the law.... If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you and God bless America.'" The Texas Department of Public Safety, which certifies instructors, is investigating. Includes a video report, which is pretty good.
War on the Courts. Matt Friedman of the New Jersey Star-Ledger: "For months, Gov. Chris Christie traveled the country amassing a small fortune for New Jersey Republicans. Now he has seized on an issue — 'elitist judges' coddled by Democrats — to ride into the state’s legislative races in two weeks.... State Superior Court Assignment Judge Linda Feinberg set off a furor last week when she ruled that increases in the cost of pensions and health care benefits for judges and justices were, in effect, pay cuts that are forbidden by the state Constitution. Although the governor appealed the decision Tuesday, he is intent on seeking a constitutional amendment to bypass it." CW: What makes the newest Christie Crusade particularly hypocritical is that the DOJ cited him for lavish spending on luxury hotels with "insufficient, inaccurate or no justification,” during the time he was a federal prosecutor. P.S. Note how Friedman editorializes a "straight news" story with his lede.
New York Times Editors: "Of the 391 capital convictions [in Pennsylvania] since 1976, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this week, at least 125 have been reversed or sent back for new hearings by state and federal appeals courts because of serious errors by lawyers. Among the state’s egregious failures is not providing adequate defense counsel in capital cases. Government-appointed lawyers are so poorly paid that few are willing to take on these extremely difficult cases.... The low fees create a 'presumption of ineffectiveness,' a group of lawyers told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.... The state should pass a law proposed in March to end the death penalty. There is no argument in favor of maintaining a barbaric, arbitrary and expensive system of capital punishment."
Denver Post: "In the most violent Saturday in more than a month of Occupy Denver demonstrations and marches, Denver police fired mace and pepper balls at a crowd of protesters in Civic Center today and arrested 20 people. Two of the protesters were held for felony charges after police said an officer was knocked off his motorcycle and other officers were kicked, as they moved into the park to tear down illegal tents." ...
... CNN: "Demonstrators encamped in a Lower Manhattan park faced New York's first snow storm of the season Saturday without the benefit of propane tanks and generators that they had been using to cook food and keep warm.... A day earlier, up to 40 firefighters removed the group's propane tanks and six generators, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said." With video. New York Magazine story here.
Al Jazeera: "China has said it wants more clarity before investing in an EU bailout fund, as the head of the scheme held talks in Beijing to try to win the help of the world's second-largest economy. Friday's announcement came after earlier expectations for a strong commitment from Beijing over Europe's debt crisis. The Financial Times, a UK newspaper, had quoted a source saying China could inject more than $100bn to help bail the EU out.... But publicly, Beijing has been noncommittal and Chinese state media said Europe must take responsibility for the crisis and not rely on "good Samaritans" to save the continent from its fiscal woes."
AP: "Tennessee state troopers for the second straight night arrested Wall Street protesters for defying a new nighttime curfew imposed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in an effort to disband an encampment near the state Capitol. And for a second time, a Nashville night judge dismissed arrest warrants of the arrested protesters." The Tennessean report is here.
New York Times: "Qantas announced on Saturday that it had grounded its entire fleet around the world, the most drastic move yet in a protracted labor dispute between the airline and its employees."
Guardian: "Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the fugitive son of Libya's toppled late leader, told the International Criminal Court he is innocent of alleged crimes against humanity, the court prosecutor said on Saturday."